Great Lives : BBC Radio 4 LW : August 12, 2016 11:00PM-11:27PM BST
There Is No Preview Available For This Item
This item does not appear to have any files that can be experienced on Archive.org.
Please download files in this item to interact with them on your computer.
Show all files
Alex Salmond chooses Thomas Muir, whom he describes as the father of Scottish democracy.
🔗 They know each other.
🔗 In the parrot's by Filippo
🔗 but on your translated by Howard CURTIS The journalist was played by phlegm in your
🔗 chink way. And the narrator with Anthony Head.
🔗 It was a bridge for radio by Richard how Morton
🔗 and the producer was Simon Richardson.
🔗 B.B.C. News that eleven o'clock.
🔗 Britain's Olympic cyclists were taken gold in the men's team pursuit in Rio
🔗 securing Bret's a Bradley Wiggins the eighth Olympic medal of his career he's now
🔗 become the most decorated British Olympian in history.
🔗 After a thrilling race against Australia. Simon Brotherton was watching.
🔗 A little bit from the difference between them over the line in
🔗 practice on the
🔗 Team G.B.
🔗 Has moved up to fourth in the medal table after a further four medals in today's
🔗 events two rowing goals were secured this afternoon before the dressage team
🔗 and the trampoline is brawny page both once over the most decorated Olympian in
🔗 Michael Phelps will attempt to win his twenty third gold medal later tonight.
🔗 The American swimmer is hoping to triumph in the men's one hundred metres butterfly.
🔗 The I think sport of the world athletics governing body the I.W.
🔗 Has suspended Kenya's track
🔗 and field manager Michael Boteach he denies allegations
🔗 that he offered to accept bribes for giving out fleets advance warning of drugs
🔗 Labor's ruling National Executive Committee has won the right to stop new members
🔗 voting in its leadership election.
🔗 The ruling by the Court of Appeal overturns a decision by the High Court earlier
🔗 this week. Jeremy Corbin's campaign has condemned the ruling. U.S.
🔗 Defense officials say they believe the leader of the Islamic state group in
🔗 Pakistan and Afghanistan has been killed in a drone.
🔗 Strike half a side can form a Taliban leader had carried out a number of deadly
🔗 attacks inside Afghanistan.
🔗 Legoland a Windsor says it's deeply shocked
🔗 that two six year old girls were sexually assaulted at the resort the alleged
🔗 attack took place at a pirate themed playground yesterday afternoon.
🔗 I mean isn't this to create five hundred jobs in Doncaster
🔗 when it opens a new warehouse the site which is due to open next year will be
🔗 Alan's and third base in the town B.B.C. News.
🔗 This summer go on holiday with four stories taking the site from Mr Darwin is
🔗 normal Rock says A Don't wait yet observe the local customs just
🔗 the fishing lure it comes on the turn you look
🔗 or perhaps even enjoy a holiday romance.
🔗 It's about time a girlfriend enters the store was that Bowie should fall in love.
🔗 Wherever you go.
🔗 The seller remember to download
🔗 and take with you the best dramas under readings from four stories.
🔗 Discover what's on offer and how to download on the B.B.C. Radio four website.
🔗 Well on Radio four it's time to join MATTHEW PARRIS for another edition of great
🔗 lives. Imagine the scene.
🔗 It's the eighteenth of February seventeenth ninety six
🔗 and three men sit in a small boat off the coast of Sydney in Australia.
🔗 They rode all night and are exhausted and cold.
🔗 Eventually they sleep until the warmth of the midday sun revives them
🔗 and on waking one man lift his head
🔗 and spots a ship on the horizon removing his white shirt he waves
🔗 that the vessel it returns the signal
🔗 and heads in the direction its crew pull the man and that boat from the water
🔗 and the captain embraces them like old friends.
🔗 One of those rescued men was Thomas Moore and as well here.
🔗 His life was peppered with extraordinary events like the one I've just described.
🔗 I think the adjective that first comes to.
🔗 Mind as we follow that life is irrepressible it's the phone no surprise.
🔗 He's the choice of my guest.
🔗 Alex Salmond the equally irrepressible former First Minister for Scotland
🔗 and the current M.P. For Gordon.
🔗 I gotta say as an Englishman it was such a pleasant surprise for me
🔗 that you didn't choose some semi mythical romantic Tuttle traped guts
🔗 and glory figure but a real ambiguous damaged Scot with a difficult legacy.
🔗 Wow what a crazy guy what a wild stumbling brave progress of a life.
🔗 We'll come on to that in a moment
🔗 but what would you see as Thomas me as central greatest claim to greatness.
🔗 Well I think Thomas MEO And he's you know his fellow friends of the people who
🔗 provided the link between enlightenment Scotland which And for
🔗 that matter reform of Scotland which had a load lots
🔗 and lots of people to be educated and then then latent got more
🔗 and more people interested in rational rationality of thought into political
🔗 activism and this was the first real indication
🔗 that people who had been effectively lads appeals people who'd been educated
🔗 through the school
🔗 and university system started to think it wasn't just a boat upholding the state
🔗 or school but changing the status quo
🔗 and I think Thomas was a central figure in the development of Scottish political
🔗 thought in choosing him. Is there anything that through him. You want to say.
🔗 Well I think Mir is an incredible example of somebody who started out as basically
🔗 a reformist but each occasion in this life we kept meeting intransigent
🔗 and totally unreasonable opposition
🔗 and gradually move positions through his life he ends up as a revolutionary
🔗 and the what I think you said at the press avail I think the word for Thomas
🔗 mirrors the Scots whether it's Thrawn and throwing me.
🔗 Beyond stubble absolutely dedicated single minded never to be defeated
🔗 and never letting a point go at each point in his life when
🔗 when you have came up against opposition he would not ever let it go
🔗 and he shifted position as he realised
🔗 that he had to be more radical in order to make the impact he wanted to make why
🔗 haven't I heard of him before he could reply because I'm an ignoramus
🔗 but he's not famous is he.
🔗 Well it's quite interesting to see I think if Scotland was a more normal country by
🔗 which I mean a country which had other than the pen of existence for these last two
🔗 centuries then he would be not just a classroom neighbor household name in Scotland.
🔗 I think it's very inconvenient to the political establishment of the eating
🔗 essentially under the the political establishment since them to have something like
🔗 Thomas Moore the forefront of Scottish political thought it has not always been
🔗 like that because any visitor to Edinburgh.
🔗 Will see
🔗 and cemetery in cotton hill overlooking the city of Edinburgh the real problem
🔗 which is one hundred feet high. You can't miss it.
🔗 That actually is a monument to Thomas Moore
🔗 and his fellow radicals of the seventy's ninety's.
🔗 Well let me introduce our expert Mario Armstrong is a form of Guardian journalist
🔗 and author of the Liberty Tree I must say a vivid impressive study of Thomas Noah's
🔗 life. Mari. Tell us.
🔗 Starting from the beginning something about his very early life.
🔗 Thomas Moore was born. Right in the middle of Glasgow.
🔗 He was born above has died shot his dad was a merchant a grocer
🔗 and from the age of five.
🔗 He was educated by private churches whose parents had employed very early on he
🔗 went to something called the Goans school which was the junior part of Glasgow
🔗 University which was just up the hill from their shop in the High Street in Glasgow.
🔗 He went there.
🔗 Each twelve and studied divinity from the age of fourteen.
🔗 He matriculated in seventy to eighty two at the age of seventeen
🔗 and then he read law
🔗 but the people at Glasgow University at the time had significant influence on him.
🔗 These were the rationalists these were the people carrying forward the ideas of the
🔗 Scottish Enlightenment.
🔗 So his upbringing sounds I wouldn't say privileged
🔗 but kind of solid middle class a bit like Mrs Thatcher her father running a shop in
🔗 the same sort of way. Do you get any sense.
🔗 Do either of you get any sense of of where the where the revolutionary where the
🔗 the firebrand in him came from.
🔗 I think my view of Eunice
🔗 that he developed this start off as a revolution.
🔗 He was a reformist lawyer
🔗 but international clash of authority came at last get a vested
🔗 and excited with some of these rational academics who are trying to expose
🔗 corruption in the upper echelons you know vested in was probably expelled.
🔗 Luckily from you and I'm lucky.
🔗 Luckily for Scotland is father had some enforce the government to Edinburgh
🔗 University was was great rival university in the East Coast
🔗 and so he was able to graduate from Ed Miller University so he studied
🔗 that Glasgow. But graduated from Edinburgh
🔗 and then of course became a an advocate a lawyer I suspect you're so it gave us a
🔗 question the rationality of the the workers of Glasgow versity
🔗 and phone themselves as a result of this push them into more reformist position.
🔗 So then we align themselves as a lawyer with reformist causes which of course we're
🔗 exporting at the time I'm a little tremendous time of political ferment
🔗 and again he found himself subjected to totally ridiculous unreasonable punishments
🔗 and trials and short trials and sent you know fatally botany be as a result
🔗 and exposition shifted each time they went for this amazing seas of it.
🔗 Just eventually ends up in a revolution in France
🔗 when the embraces the whole revolutionary concept so I think he was pushed into
🔗 and yet he was kind of stunned into becoming a radical tell us a bit Mari about how
🔗 he ended up in Australia. Well from the summer of seventy nine ninety two.
🔗 There was an amazing up saga or political activity right across Scotland.
🔗 There had been attempts to reform the bar of government in Scotland which would
🔗 then have led on to demands for for parliamentary reform because the M.P.'s from
🔗 the borrower's in Scotland were not elected they were chosen by the sitting
🔗 current source in the boroughs
🔗 and those currents of themselves were self-selecting So there was there were no
🔗 voters as such in Scotland.
🔗 There was a greater corruption than just the electoral system because the home
🔗 secretary at the time was Henry Dunn Dyess M.P.
🔗 From Midlothian in not only home secretary
🔗 but Secretary of the Navy on the board of the East India Company
🔗 and you can imagine the number and quality of jobs
🔗 that could be handed out in this whole system of tallys was the cultural King of
🔗 Scotland on the Who were all Scotland a lot of viable for the younger another
🔗 regress of forces and he was what he was he was Thomas he was leading opponent.
🔗 If you're if you pick your if they can abort it then that is of extreme Leigh.
🔗 Powerful opponent to pick and then that's it was no messing you know
🔗 and ask control the legal establishment the political establishment the butter's
🔗 has been said
🔗 and then to crush any say enough's additional whatsoever by any means
🔗 that were necessary
🔗 and what particular issue on which the young Thomas took aim against turned assays
🔗 corrupt. Establishment got him transported to Australia.
🔗 Was the issue of democracy elite not only in Scotland
🔗 but of course in England as well.
🔗 They heard a sense of entitlement new the way the country around it was run by the
🔗 power of land
🔗 and land of the states they saw no need whatsoever for a democratic system that's
🔗 used that of all the places where revolution to take it
🔗 that Scotland was won because Scotland had so many more skilled letter
🔗 that working class its people who can read the ideas of Thomas Paine who knew what
🔗 was going on
🔗 and what he was determined to stamp out this infection before it was allowed to
🔗 take root. So Thomas we were and others.
🔗 Friends of the people organization taking aim at the lack of democracy in local
🔗 government in Scotland trying to trying to introduce representative democracy of
🔗 some kind and they were rounded up and subjected to serious of short trials
🔗 but so powerful it was one of
🔗 that a great powers was Lord Bracks field who was there the justice Clark
🔗 and Scott the second most senior judge in Scotland and he invented a new crime.
🔗 Unconscious sedition not sure but the fact the Jewish.
🔗 Yeah but just to make sure was no mistake backfield judge Jeffries a small
🔗 and he had invented the claim of of unconscious addition to make sure
🔗 that however eloquent he was appeals that member Mueller's
🔗 and advocate a hugely skilled auditor he moved the you know the people in the in
🔗 the trial to tears and SHIELDS that blacks feel that out of
🔗 and to send them down and so just.
🔗 Both me and his associates ended up in sequence being sent to Boston B.
🔗 But of course the trial itself the start was great because Sam
🔗 and Robert buttons for example was writing about it more than on a mostly.
🔗 And in this correspondence
🔗 when he was you know this was there the cause celeb of the day was
🔗 that was a trial of Thomas Bjorn and his and his confederates So despite all
🔗 that he was convicted and sentenced to fourteen years transportation
🔗 and arrived in Australia.
🔗 What did he do that he was in Australia for
🔗 or a little bit more than than a year
🔗 and a half I suppose he went there with other reformers who are sentenced the same
🔗 time. No mirror and the others were gentleman.
🔗 Of course they won't fail and there were gentlemen there were
🔗 and they were treated as gentleman
🔗 and as long as they didn't take anything from the public stores.
🔗 Then they didn't have to do the same work
🔗 that other convicts in Australia did then
🔗 and saw each of them bought farms mirror a little farm.
🔗 That's where one of the pylons of the Sydney Harbor Bridge stands at the moment
🔗 there is a fun fair underneath and that we are we going to spot.
🔗 That's where we think Thomas knew a little farm was and of course it was from
🔗 that farm fairly isolated that he managed to engineer his escape in the boat
🔗 that there is a rowing boat that you mention
🔗 that the beginning to which in a moment. You're listening to great lives with me.
🔗 MATTHEW PARRIS I'm joined today by the politician Alec summoned to discuss the life
🔗 of Thomas Moore with the help of Mario Armstrong who's written a book about me
🔗 or at the beginning of the program.
🔗 I describe me sat in his rowing boat off the coast of Sydney awaiting rescue after
🔗 escaping the person who came to his aid was the first mate Perrault Frenchman
🔗 sympathetic to me
🔗 or in his course who rather than taking him back to Australia took him across the
🔗 Pacific towards America.
🔗 Tell us a bit about
🔗 that they were heading across the Pacific because the boat they were on the autor
🔗 was after auto pelts to sail.
🔗 Later on and count on and here
🔗 and the whole idea was they would gather the pelts there then go.
🔗 Bike around and the I'm China and sell them.
🔗 Your could have stayed on the boat
🔗 but he thought count on British navy British regimes likely to be caught
🔗 and likely to be hanged.
🔗 And so he managed to her child left on a Spanish board which took him so he spent
🔗 some time in California
🔗 and then went on don't to Mexico where he partition the viceroy of Mexico to allow
🔗 him to get to Rome to Philadelphia to great story.
🔗 Alex I know I thought your political life had been quite exciting until I I had
🔗 this quite a life
🔗 but your life takes a switch it off from being the radical the
🔗 political reformers that they marked by this dystonia
🔗 when I get into those daring dude venture with an encounters all sorts of amazing
🔗 things striving
🔗 but this time to get back to Scotland he had some thoughts perhaps he might
🔗 practice law in America and you know he wasn't all in and helped by people
🔗 but he had this most amazing struggle to get back to Scotland California of the
🔗 Cuban the Spanish bought which then got into naval battle
🔗 and for so if you have lost his eye. There was a severely injured.
🔗 You know the whole thing spaceplane and half his face but of said
🔗 that I mean the report was he'd been killed because the Admiralty went over so to
🔗 get up and he was an international target of the British authorities
🔗 but he didn't get killed.
🔗 It is said that perhaps Michael from this
🔗 that it was a school friend of hers aided the deliberate
🔗 misidentification Tolo to get into the Spanish presence and by
🔗 that vehicle get back to Spain and then ultimately to France.
🔗 Yes there are several stories of his being rescued by British sailors by people
🔗 that you heard one of the stories says it was one of the younger officers who had
🔗 been to school. I think he recognized Muir's name in the Bible in the flyleaf
🔗 or Bible that was found on him.
🔗 There are other contradictory stories and different versions of it
🔗 but all of them appeared in the Scottish press at the time all of them appeared in
🔗 let us hear all the time back home in Scotland people were reading
🔗 about me going to get venture off of this pastor who by popular
🔗 saint had been wrongfully convicted wrongfully tried done down by the establishment
🔗 and he's having this amazing adventure as he as he tries to win these way back
🔗 and become a sort of. Inspirational figure across the ocean.
🔗 Yes And I think this is what he said let's consider this is
🔗 that November a sions of what's happening.
🔗 I mean the politicians said much more recently
🔗 that the victor goes not to those who can inflict the most
🔗 but those are going to of the most Thomasville was enduring
🔗 and being affected metaphorically Geodon by the nation as the gleefully
🔗 and grabbed every snippet of information he could about the span of the Navy
🔗 couldn't catch. I like to think
🔗 that under the superstructure of the establishment that Mueller's being aided
🔗 and abetted by lots of people who knew this was not right
🔗 that this this man was not the know was that he was being painted
🔗 and therefore various parts of the story you can see
🔗 that Munis being helped people are going out of their way to avoid the sanction
🔗 which they were supposed to come down in a manner.
🔗 You know I thought it would make the most well ask I said the most extraordinary
🔗 film I was about that is there are parts of the people would say well
🔗 that could not possibly have happened.
🔗 Now he ended up in France after Australia didn't he.
🔗 Got back to Spain then to France
🔗 and was greeted as a hero by the revolution offensive to clear them as a.
🔗 Council of Ministers of the of the Scottish republic because we would have parted
🔗 from the.
🔗 Much of the reformist movement by sea an independent Scotland inspired by the
🔗 United Irish as part of his political project what King in conjunction in unity
🔗 with radical movements elsewhere and the French were very exercised by Mir and
🔗 and gave him a position of great celebrity
🔗 and your back lauded as a hero in the revolutionary palace set about scheming
🔗 and planning his return his second with Tom to Scotland from France
🔗 but this time not does a former star lawyer trying to undo some of the inequities
🔗 of the lack of democracy in the in the parliamentary system of Scotland
🔗 but rather bizarre
🔗 and not revolutionary type to overthrow the A stablished order it in the bettered
🔗 by revolution in France.
🔗 But Onyx here you have to understand you have to remember the horror of
🔗 the French Revolution as seen from the United Kingdom the absolute terror
🔗 that something like that might be exported and I suppose
🔗 that mere became part of that.
🔗 Well member of course bureau had already been exiled before
🔗 the horrors of the French Revolution this fuss was divided as I said ever been to
🔗 try and forestall the execution of Louis because of the setback you thought
🔗 and I would imagine it was still very aware of the developments in France
🔗 and the way that the revolution and Tom didn't tell
🔗 but obviously he was convinced
🔗 and you would expect given his life experience of the previous few years.
🔗 He was also well aware of the of the nature of the establishment in Britain
🔗 and his ideas crystallized into he saw
🔗 that stablished of the says as his mission. I think you know back.
🔗 Well of course of
🔗 that had been a nice game a cricket with all been there playing by the rules then
🔗 of course you would never be in the same test in the first place you would never
🔗 have been tried in the first place you below to stand for Parliament the graceful
🔗 lottery which you later air on Matthew would have been employed on
🔗 and people with of come to the conclusions but that's not the world
🔗 that Neil was living in that's what all the want to deliver.
🔗 But by the end of his life he was convinced
🔗 that all of a revolutionary approach would be one which which yielded results now
🔗 you can argue if you are a Henry done that.
🔗 No doubt you thought that's what all this plotting anyway.
🔗 And I was right to try the but if you take a more rational view is
🔗 that the position
🔗 that murid opted out of the position of the you know of the faction
🔗 and something ninety seven
🔗 and Ireland was actually the result of the political repression of which people
🔗 were subjected I take that view and I think yours like an inspiration
🔗 and it doesn't end well in the sense
🔗 that he dies in exile in revolutionary France but it ends well in the sense
🔗 that he had a huge substantial extraordinary impact
🔗 and was an inspiration to the generations to come.
🔗 I just wonder whether your somewhat conscripting mirror to your cause in your
🔗 lecture on the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of his birth.
🔗 You talked about completing the job
🔗 that mirror started for an independent Scotland you have suggested that
🔗 that was his aim. Do you agree with that Mari.
🔗 That the end of his life he did see for tactical reasons
🔗 that there was a rebellion taking place in Ireland
🔗 and he thought if you open up a second front in Scotland create two republics on
🔗 and either side of of England then you would force the English Government at the time
🔗 into negotiations for peace. That was his thinking at the time. The early movement.
🔗 While their main focus on the origin C.
🔗 Of their campaign was to reform the parliament in Westminster there was never the
🔗 less a great feeling right across Scotland
🔗 that Scottish identity was being buried in this notion or north of Britain
🔗 and even beyond the right to call ranks that this was recognised
🔗 that something had to be done as far as identity was concerned on the side of
🔗 national identity which of course is what Robert but at the same time as he put it.
🔗 What he's boasted advantages of the so-called union which could justify the
🔗 elimination of Scotland's very name people eight buttons
🔗 and you heard some of the thoughts of not so much conscripted
🔗 but perhaps recognising that you have perhaps started as a devolution us
🔗 but ended up dependence Mao perhaps just as he was called unconsciously seditious
🔗 you might say that he was an unconscious independent smile
🔗 but no I think just very conscious in the palace mind that's right.
🔗 Interesting that after me or.
🔗 There was a I hate a certain and radical activity
🔗 and I take it to eight hundred twenty at the banner of radical rising the Scotland
🔗 free on a desert and therefore by then.
🔗 This this combination of the idea of Scottish aspirations
🔗 and radical aspirations had been all well
🔗 and truly joined incidentally a force which is very important in Scotland to this
🔗 day. Final question.
🔗 Halleck son and on his deathbed in seventy nine thousand nine.
🔗 Do you think that he would have shared your view that his life
🔗 and his work had been a success.
🔗 I suspect he would know I think most I mean from what we know
🔗 he was he an inveterate optimist.
🔗 You know if you look at the challenges he has fixed both stubborn
🔗 but adopt him a so I hope and think.
🔗 And also he was doing coverage by the impact that it wasn't forgotten.
🔗 You know when we arrived in France.
🔗 I mean you know we didn't
🔗 or something had been years previously very every stage of the revolution
🔗 and the you know it's treated as a as a hero.
🔗 So I think you'd be rolling coverage that and have the knowledge
🔗 that his exploits his ideas were still gathering going to go out in force.
🔗 But I think any political person has a doubt as to whether all the
🔗 deeds will stand the test of time.
🔗 I think it's up to us to make sure that this man's does.
🔗 Well you and Mari have done your bit today to make sure
🔗 that he's not forgotten my thanks to an exam
🔗 and for choosing the life of Thomas Moore
🔗 and to Mario Armstrong for being our expert go by.